Throughout my life, I would have always described myself as a feminist, but I didn’t read feminist works or take a women’s lit class in college. I didn’t think of it much beyond, “Yes, I believe women deserve equal opportunities to men. Being a woman does not make me lesser.”
It wasn’t until these last few years that I’ve really started to consider it more. It must have something to do with how freeing our 30s are. Then, Emma Watson (can I get a shout out for Hermione?!?) created a book club on Goodreads at the beginning of 2016 with the intention of reading and sharing feminist works. And so, my real feminist education began.
I need this education in women’s voices, not just for myself, but for my daughters AND my sons, and for my future students. With each book I read, I find myself considering new things, feeling emboldened and sometimes outraged, and also incredibly proud to be able to call myself a woman alongside these women. And I wear the label feminist with a boldness I never have before. My advice is to read We Should All Be Feminists first, and then keep going! There is so much more out there; these are just the books that resonated with me the most in my first year of feminist reading. Happy reading!
8 Feminist Perspectives to Devour Now
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Pick up copies of this beautiful essay and pass it out like a feminist super hero.
Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay: Perspectives on feminism, race and pop culture. Very thought provoking.
Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed: A collection of letters and advice issued in the Dear Sugar column. No holds barred and delightful.
Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn: Do you want to know what life is like for women outside of the U.S.? Read this book.
Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape by Peggy Orenstein: If you have CHILDREN between the ages of 0 and 22ish, read this book!!
Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon: Love the approach this book took to her life story. She is a serious badass and my hero!
Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou: A beautiful memoir about how her mother’s absence and presence so greatly affected her.
Year of Yes: How to Dance it Out, Stand in the Sun & Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes: She beautifully gives us all permission to be ourselves!
Lindsey Sinnwell is a married mother of four living in the suburbs in Iowa and will be contributing a monthly literary reflection on the Mama Bear Blog. After spending 12 years as a stay-at-home mom, she is returning to her alma mater to pursue her teaching certification in English. She is much cooler than she sounds and is always looking for new book-loving friends. You can find her on Instagram at @mrssinnwellreads.